You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus. Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him. An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. (2 Timothy 2:1, 3-5, ESV)
Grace and peace to you from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
“Armed Forces Sunday”
Over the years thousands of men and women have served our country in the military. This weekend is a time to say thank you. Take the time to attend Memorial Day events on Monday, that’s a good start. As for me, to those of you who have served, in case you’ve never heard me say it before, “Thank you.”
Military service is dangerous. Thousands of men and women are injured serving our country. Thousands have been killed and injured in battle. Our country uses the Purple Heart to recognize those who are wounded in battle by the enemy. That medal can’t restore or replace the broken bodies and lives. It is just one way we show these who sacrifice themselves support for what they do. The families that serve, the families that have sacrificed deserve our enduring support. Being a soldier is a difficult job.
Our enduring support comes directly from God and His promises to us. “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5b, ESV) God promises. He has made a connection to us. He has established a relationship to us. So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” (Hebrews 13:6, ESV) We don’t have to have any doubt about God’s enduring support either. He has made His connection known to you directly. One of the young people in our congregation said it as well as I can say it. Go look at the picture on my door. It says, “Baptism is good for you.” It’s good for you because its God’s promise that what Jesus has done is yours.
The strife is o’er, the battle done.
Now is the victor’s triumph won;
Now be the song of praise begun.
When we focus on Jesus we focus on the one who has already won the battle. He has conquered our enemies. It’s not a matter of fighting, it’s only a matter of living in the victory that has already been won.
And yet, while we live in this sinful world there is still struggle. Even though the victory is sure, theirs still a lot of struggle. World War II was a long struggle. When the Allied forces made their bold landing on the beaches of
Satan is the “spy behind the lines.” He knows our weaknesses and he uses them against us. He whispers lies in our ears, and all too often they are things we want to be true. When we listen we cause ourselves more trouble.
The world around is us an enemy to Jesus. It tells us that there are many ways to attain a relationship with God. It tells us we are arrogant if we say we know the only way. It says the struggle to remain faithful to Jesus isn’t worth it.
Our own will, is the most difficult enemy for us to deal with. It doesn’t make sense to us to have to suffer for our own good. We want to avoid pain. We want the easy way.
Jesus assures us that He has defeated these enemies. Satan is judged. His destination is hell. We don’t have accompany him. Jesus has won our release from hell by His death. The world too is judged. When Jesus comes again, the whole world will see that He is God. Every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord. Many won’t like it but it will happen. Our sinful flesh has been dealt with by Jesus, too.
It was Geo.
I’ve been to
God’s richest blessings to you as you remember the sacrifice of those who serve our country. But even more importantly as you remember the sacrifice God has made to make you His child forever. Amen.
The peace of God that passes all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Amen.